Norway - Iceland Preview: Two Nordic nations face off as visitors prepare for the Euros

Strákarnir okkar have their first major tournament to look forward to, and will hope this friendly helps prepare them for it.

Norway - Iceland Preview: Two Nordic nations face off as visitors prepare for the Euros
Iceland's first of two pre-Euro friendlies is against Norway tomorrow. (Photo: UEFA)

With less than two weeks to go until the big kick-off, excitement is building in Iceland as the country prepare to take part in their first ever major tournament.

Tomorrow, they take on fellow Nordic nation Norway in the first of two warm-up friendlies, with the second to be against Liechtenstein on Monday in front of their own fans.

However, first up is a trip to Oslo to face the Norwegians, who were denied a place at Euro 2016 by Hungary in the play-offs.

Regular opponents meet again

This will be just the third friendly meeting between these two nations in history, though they have met nine times on a competitive basis in the past.

Norway lead the head-to-head with five wins to Iceland's three, with the remaining four games ending all square.

The last time they clashed, in qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, they couldn't be separated. Kolbeinn Sigþórsson opened the scoring for Iceland, but Daniel Braaten equalised to give Norway a share of the spoils.

In the reverse, Strákarnir okkar recorded the three points, with Kári Árnason and Alfreð Finnbogason on the scoresheet in a 2-0 victory - the nation's only win over the Norwegians in their last eight encounters.

Kolbeinn Sigþórsson (right) celebrates his goal in the last meeting between these two. (Photo: Sky Sports)
Kolbeinn Sigþórsson (right) celebrates his goal in the last meeting between these two. (Photo: Sky Sports)

Iceland - beware...

Norway might not be heading to the Euros this summer, but they don't lack quality.

The likes of Bournemouth striker Joshua King, Celtic's Stefan Johansen and Real Madrid youngster Martin Ødegaard have been named in Per-Mathias Høgmo's squad for this clash against Iceland, which is sandwiched in between friendlies against Portugal - which they lost 3-0 on Sunday - and Belgium.

However, with nothing to gain in the games, Høgmo has also taken the chance to call up several young, uncapped players who will learn plenty from the experience of being with the senior squad.

Four players could make their debuts in this game for the hosts, two of whom are teenagers - Lyon's Ulrik Yttergård Jenssen and West Ham United's Martin Samuelsen.

There's a degree of unexpectedness regarding Iceland's opponents tomorrow, but they should give them a good test ahead of the summer's big event nonetheless.

Places up for grabs

Iceland themselves head to the Ullevaal Stadion looking to pick up a confidence-boosting win before their opening group game against Portugal on June 14, but also looking to blow the cobwebs away.

With the season having ended a few weeks ago, players have had time to rest and then build their fitness back up going into the tournament, and this game gives them a chance to aid that.

As well as that, the players are fighting for their places in the starting XI for that opening game in France. Lars Lagerbäck and Heimir Hallgrímsson have plenty of options to weigh up, and there is no way that their team sheet will not be swayed by the performances of the players in the next two games.

This is the game for the players to graft in and earn their place, ahead of Monday's send off at home to Liechtenstein. Norway won't make it easy, and the Icelanders will be keen to impress.